Assignment Suspense Author:Helen MacInnes Assignment: Suspense . . . A Three Novel Omnibus — 1.) Above Suspicion (1941) — Nazi Germany, 1939. Von Aschenhausen sat on the edge of a large desk, his eyes fixed on the man standing over the girl roped to a chair. "You fool. You stupid little fool. Can't you see I must, I will find out? My patience is limited. Kurt, try some more of your persua... more »sion." The girl felt a hand of iron on her aching shoulder. She struggled weakly against the ropes that held her, but they only cut deeper...
2.) Horizon (1942)
MacInnes takes us inside a WW2 Italian prison camp, into the life of an American prisoner, an artist with badly injured hands. He is hurting, physically and emotionally, from his wounds, but still fighting as best he can, plotting an escape. When he ends up in the mountains of the Tyrol (doesn't MacInnes always take us back to the Tyrol!?), he finds people who are trying to fight the Totalitarians with not much more than courage and a knowledge of truth and their local terrain. As is typical of a MacInnes novel, she shows people fighting for Truth and Freedom against a Totalitarian system. Her protagonists may be up against Facists or Nazis (in this book, both) or Anarchists, or most often Communists, but they always fight for Freedom, for principles over personal convenience. It's as political as any of her novels, but also just as beautifully crafted.
3.) Assignment in Brittany (1945)
set in the summer of 1940 after the fall of France. Martin Hearne was parachuted into Brittany to take the place of Bertrand Corlay, a French soldier wounded at Dunkirk. Hearne was picked because his job was in military intelligence and he looked like Corlay's twin. Hearne returns to Corlay's home then observe the German military activity in this region. His reports, when correlated with others, will reveal what is happening. Corlay is questioned about his life, but does not tell all. A chemical is used to duplicate a birthmark, and a tooth is removed to match Corlay's dental records. When Hearne arrives at St. Déodat he learns of the estrangement with Corlay's mother, and, that Corlay did not tell all of his personal life! Hearne learns why Corlay had employment problems, and about his reading habits.« less